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8 Delicious Things to Make With Pumpkin

Pumpkin season doesn’t last forever, so make the most of it – and reap the nutritional benefits – while you can!

Try some of these delicious recipes the next time you have extra pumpkin! #ReadyNutrition

“Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.” ― Samuel Butler

Cool, crisp air, blazes of brilliantly-colored foliage, leaves twirling to the ground…autumn has finally arrived for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere.

With its earlier nightfall and cooler weather, autumn brings a nutritious, versatile, and delicious fruit – the pumpkin.

Pumpkins are winter squash – the mature fruit of certain species in the genus Cucurbita. They are grown all over the world, on six of the seven continents (Antarctica is the exception).

Most parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the shell, seeds, flesh, and flowers.

Cucurbita maxima = maximum nutrition

Pumpkins are a nutritional powerhouse: they are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. One cup of mashed pumpkin contains more than 200% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin A. They are also rich in carotenoids, the compounds that give the fruit their bright orange hue. One of those carotenoids, beta-carotene, is an important antioxidant that converts into a form of Vitamin A in the body. Research shows that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain kinds of cancer and protects against heart disease. Beta-carotene also offers protection against some degenerative aspects of aging, boosts the immune system, and is essential for eye health.

A cup of cooked pumpkin contains 564 milligrams of potassium – that’s nearly 20% of the daily recommendation.

Savor the Seeds

Pumpkin seeds may not look impressive, but the petite pepitas are loaded with magnesium, zinc, and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3s). They also contain the amino acid tryptophan, which is important in serotonin production. In other words, pumpkin seeds can help relax you and might help you sleep.

10 Delicious Ways to Add Powerhouse Pumpkin to Your Diet

1) Ultimate Pumpkin Smoothie

Ingredients (one serving):

  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice

Place all ingredients in blender and pulse until smooth.

(from Brit+Co)

2) Spiced Pumpkin Cider

Yields about 2 cups


  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • Cinnamon stick


  1. In a large pot, mix together the pumpkin puree, apple cider, pumpkin pie spice and the cinnamon stick. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 20 minutes. If mixture is too thick, add additional cider or water to thin it out.
  2. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove clumps and cinnamon stick. Serve warm.

3) Pumpkin Chai Latte

Yields about 2 cups


  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon (75 grams) pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon ginger
  • 2 cups milk of your choosing
  • 2 bags of black tea


In a small saucepan, bring all the ingredients, except for the tea bags, to a boil over medium heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the tea bags, and let the tea bags steep for 3 minutes (or however long the tea bags say). Sprinkle with some cinnamon before serving if desired.

*Note: Pumpkin pie spice can be used instead of using separate spices.

(from Texanerin Baking)

4) Pumpkin Pie Parfait


  • 1/4 cup plain pumpkin purée (fresh or canned)
  • 1/2 large frozen banana
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Optional Toppings:

  • Crumbled graham crackers
  • Peanut butter (or any other nut butter)
  • Cinnamon


  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender, adding the almond milk as you go until reaching the desired consistency.
  2. Pour into glass and top with desired toppings!

(from Greatist)

5) Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Pancakes

Serves 4


For the cinnamon streusel:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

To make the pancakes:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. First, make the cinnamon streusel. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Mix together with your hands or a fork, until you have a crumbly mixture. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, egg, pumpkin, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and whisk until combined.
  4. Heat a griddle or pan to medium low. Coat with cooking spray. Drop 1/3 cup of batter onto heated skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon streusel. Cook on the first side until bubbles begin to form, about 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip pancake over and cover very generously with cinnamon streusel. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Continue this process to make the rest of the pancakes.
  5. Serve pancakes warm with maple syrup and butter.

(from Two Peas and Their Pod)

6) Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Sage

Serves 6-8


  • 4 sugar pie pumpkins
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 pound butter or 2 cubes, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 bunch sage, reserving a dozen leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Over medium heat, heat oil in a large stockpot, add onions and bring temperature down to medium-low to sweat onions until translucent. Meanwhile, cut pumpkins in half and remove seeds.
  3. Place sage leaves in each pumpkin half and place on a baking sheet, skin side down. Brush with a 1 tablespoon melted butter and roast for 45 minutes.
  4. When softened and pumpkins can be pierced with a fork, remove from oven and peel skin from pumpkins.
  5. Combine pumpkin with remaining ingredients into stock pot, except butter with onions. Simmer for 1/2 hour.
  6. Remove from heat and add mixture to blender in batches, incrementally adding butter and onions. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  7. In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons reserved butter and add reserved sage leaves. Sauté until lightly browned.
  8. Serve soup with a dollop of mascarpone, fried sage leaves and a whirl of olive oil if desired.

(from FoodieCrush)

7) Risotto with Pumpkin

Serves 8


  • 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon(s) medium onion, diced
  • about 2 cups cup(s) ‘Musquée de Provence’ pumpkin, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cup(s) Arborio rice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon(s) dry white wine (optional)
  • 6 cup(s) chicken broth, heated
  • 1 sprig(s) fresh rosemary, leaves removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup(s) (about 22/3 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Sauté onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add pumpkin and cook until softened, 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often. Add rice, stirring with a wooden spoon until each kernel is coated with oil. Add wine, if desired, and stir until combined.
  2. Add 3 cups chicken broth and rosemary to rice mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring frequently. As broth is absorbed, add more, ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently—you may not need to use all the broth. Cook until most of liquid has been absorbed and rice is slightly al dente, yet creamy and porridge-like, about 18 minutes. Add butter and ¼ cup Parmesan and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve with remaining Parmesan.

(from Country Living)

8) Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons light olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional seasonings to taste – try some of the following:
    • Curry spices
    • Cinnamon, ginger, and sugar
    • Garlic powder and cayenne pepper
    • Parmesan cheese
    • Brown sugar, chili powder, and nutmeg

Tip: Remove pulp by rinsing the seeds through a strainer. Also, make sure the seeds are completely dry before roasting.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, toss pumpkin seeds with light olive oil and salt. (At this stage, also add any additional seasonings to the mix.)
  3. Spread pumpkin seeds evenly onto a baking sheet in one layer.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the seeds are crisp, stirring every few minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and, if desired, re-season to taste.

(from PopSugar)

Pumpkin season doesn’t last forever, so make the most of it – and reap the nutritional benefits – while you can!

Additional Recipes:

Mini Sriracha Pumpkin Pies with Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage Infused Browned Butter Sauce

Pumpkin Bread

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on September 25th, 2014